One-third of China’s land protected under ecological ‘red line’ scheme

One-third of China's land protected under ecological 'red line' scheme

SHANGHAI: Nearly a third of China’s land is now off-limits to development under a scheme known as the “ecological protection red line”, a senior official said at a news briefing on Monday (Sep 19), bringing the country in accord with global biodiversity targets.

China first proposed its “red line” scheme in 2011 to put an end to decades of “irrational development” that had encroached on forests, wetlands and other precious ecosystems.

The establishment of national parks and the restoration of ecosystems have now helped bring the total area under protection to more than 30 per cent of China’s territory, said Zhuang Shaoqin, China’s vice-national resources minister.

The figure is in line with a target recommended by the United Nations and supported by more than 100 countries to protect at least 30 per cent of the earth’s land and ocean areas by 2030. China has not yet formally agreed to the target.

The target will be discussed during talks on a new global biodiversity pact set to take place in Montreal in December, which China will lead.

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